FIBER PhD student attends Youth Innovation Conference in Shenzhen, China

The Youth Innovation Conference in Shenzhen, China was organized by United Nations Industrial Development and Shenzhen government. The conference was an international exchange platform to explore development trends and challenges in the world, such as innovations to help meet the economic, social, environmental aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals.  Professionals, scholars and young entrepreneurs were invited from over 100 countries to attend the conference. 77 guest speakers and VIP guests from various countries, including senior officials from various United Nations offices. The conference was also attended by various Shenzhen youth groups to reach high school and college students. The highlight of the competition was an innovation competition for the global youth, which involved technological innovations. The winner of the competition was a Malaysian woman who had invented a technology like uber type to deal with compounding issues of electronic waste. There were many notable projects and tech displays on the floor of the conference alongside industry leaders for large scale innovations, for example biomass recycling plant engineers, ocean plastic recycling technology, and various types of sustainable energy innovations like solar and hydro projects. I attended the conference as a presenter in a panel that involved professors and professionals as part of a think tank group affiliated with the Professional Association for China’s Environment and Lakestone Institute for Sustainable Development.  I had interned with this group for several months to research global biodiversity policies, and was invited to speak as part of their panel at the conference. We also met with the Shenzhen municipal government and had a meeting to liaison for the conference. My talk was about Sustainable Cities and Biodiversity and I highlighted some of the innovative projects and softwares that have been used in this field. I gave a general overview of the importance of planning to integrate biodiversity, and discussed a local example of Shenzhen, since the city is in a biodiversity hotspot. Since there has been an effort to develop Shenzhen as a “model sustainable city”mainly for renewable energy innovations, then I highlighted some of the project successes and shortcomings in terms of biodiversity specifically. The talk went well and we were given a unique opportunity to see a couple of the offices of larger corporate enterprise around the city. Eve Bohnett is a recently-graduated FIBER doctoral student.

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